This was a response to Joe…

…until I realized, I hadn’t posted yet this week. As I was commenting on Joe’s post (thanks for the inspiration), I decided to chalk this one up to the next level.


Basically, I tentatively agree with Joe/Ong’s idea that all aspects of speech and/or writing are basically artificial in some sense. This drew a strange parallel in my mind to a discussion I had in another class last week.  My prof was telling the class about a woman he had interviewed once that was seeking “true movement.” Over the years, she had found her definition of “true movement” in only one circumstance: falling. When the human body is falling- apparently- it is the most natural and amazing to see the ways in which the body will contort in order to protect itself. Therefore, this woman built her entire dance company and performance around high flying acrobatics and literal leaps of faith. All in the pursuit of true movement.

Why do we all look like this as we jump?

Back to language, reading, and writing. I think the same concept applies. True movement is born out of a reaction. Out of instinct. You begin to fall, you put your arms out to break your fall. Most of us shouldn’t have to think about that response. It is natural. Similarly, I think that in order to have “natural” speech or writing, it has to be borne out of a reaction to someone or something. In the heat of the moment, in the midst of an argument, at the edge of glory, on the precipice of doom, whatever melodramatic moment you may have. The point being, whatever form of communication that you choose at that moment is going to be visceral. Natural. And that is what I believe Ong was looking for.

2 thoughts to “This was a response to Joe…”

  1. Katie,

    I like the falling analogy! I could totally see how in the moment something is natural. In the article, his definition seemed more skewed and definitive to me between the two forms of communication, which bothered me to some extent as you know. Anyway, good post!

  2. I agree! I think writing is more natural and I’d even say more heartfelt when it is written as a reaction to something. I personally write best when I am inspired by something, whether it be a social issue, health matter, or personal thing.

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